Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi

Nephrops norvegicus

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea (Noup)
Stock detail

IVa (Management Area F: FU 10)

Picture of Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

The state of the stock in this area is unknown. The fishery is prosecuted by only a few vessels that visit the ground at times and landings are less than 1% of the North Sea total
Nephrops are caught predominantly by bottom trawling. Trawl fisheries for scampi (nephrops) are associated with large quantities of bycatch, including protected species such as cod, and juvenile fish. Increase the sustainability of the scampi you eat by choosing pot or creel caught rather than trawled scampi. If choosing trawled fish ask for Nephrops trawled in nets using separator grids and larger meshes to increase their selectivity and reduce bycatch and discards

To ensure exploitation is in line with the size of the local population ,and so better protect the stock, scientists advise that management should be implemented at the functional unit (FU) level. Currently there is no localized management of stocks which has resulted in the overfishing and depletion of some Nephrops populations like the Farn Deeps.


Norway Lobster (also known as langoustine or scampi) live in burrows on the seabed. They are limited to a muddy habitat and require sediment with a silt and clay content to excavate burrows. Their distribution therefore is determined by the availability of suitable habitat. They occur over a wide area in the North East Atlantic, from Iceland to North Africa and into the Mediterranean, and constitute a valuable fishery for many countries. Males grow relatively quickly to around 6 cm, but seldom exceed 10 years old. Females grow more slowly and can reach 20 years old. Females mature at about 3 years. In the autumn they lay eggs which remain attached to the tail for 9 months (known as being “berried”). During this time the berried females rarely emerge from their burrows and therefore do not commonly appear in trawl catches, although they may be caught using baited creels. This habit of remaining in their burrows has probably afforded their populations some resilience to fishing pressure. Egg hatching occurs in the spring, and females emerge in spring/summer to moult and mate.

Stock information

Stock Area

North Sea (Noup)

Stock information

The state of the stock is unknown. UWTV surveys in FU 10 have been conducted sporadically and therefore the time-series of UWTV survey data is incomplete. The last survey was carried out in 2014 and before that in 2007. Landings in FU 10 are at a historical minimum, suggesting harvest rates are below those associated with MSY for other North Sea Nephrops fisheries. Landings constitute less than 1% of the North Sea total.
ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied catches in each of the years 2017 and 2018 should not exceed 40 tonnes.


A ban on the use of multitrawl gears (three or more trawls) for all Scottish boats was introduced in April 2008, limiting the expansion of effective effort.

Capture Information


ICES Advice 2016, Book 6 http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2016/2016/nep-10.pdf